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bsolah
01-29-2010, 02:41 AM
I know this question's probably been asked before, and it happens to all of us. I'm going through a drought of writing at the moment, uninspired, find it hard to start, would rather play video games.

I've come to expect them every once and a while but forget how do deal with them.

Usually reading helps, but my drought extends to my lack of enthusiasm for reading.

How do you deal with the slumps? Or do you just wait them out?

Fran
01-29-2010, 02:48 AM
I'm in one now. I'm going to wait it out. Write a bit here and there when I'm inspired, but I was just looking over what I did the other night and it's pants. (British for 'not good'!) But I know what I'm like and if I start to stress it'll just prolong the drought.

And I'd like to thank Nintendo for putting out Spirit Tracks to distract me. :D

Sophia
01-29-2010, 02:57 AM
Partly wait them out, but there are things that help me. When it extends to enthusiasm for reading as well, it's usually a sign that I'm a little depressed. Exercise, in the fresh air if possible, is a huge one. Going out regularly for a walk in some nice surroundings and reminding myself of all the good stuff around me. Dancing, if you don't mind doing that, just in a room on my own, to something upbeat. Generally getting my body moving helps, and the more I do it, the more energized as well as refreshed I feel. Doing it every day if possible is important, because it gets me into a routine. After a while, I feel better and I'm in routine mode, and writing fits in easily with that. Being interested in reading again is a sign things are improving, and I try to write something at that stage. I try to remember throughout that it's something physical, some sort of brain chemistry that's doing this, because normally, I want to be writing.

Good luck! I hope you break out of it soon.

Treyfan
01-29-2010, 03:27 AM
I have several tricks to get me out of my writing slumps.

1. Watch movies you wouldn't normally watch. For me, this usually involves chick-flicks or action flicks.

2. Wait it out until a new idea pops up.

3. Stop thinking about writing altogether! Take long walks, explore another hobby you enjoy (like painting, or bicycling, shopping, whatever)

4. Spend more time with your friends/family. Limit your alone-time.

5. Reread your favorite parts of your favorite authors' books. Examine why that particular passage still fascinates you and write something inspired by what you read. Cheesy...but works for me.

6. Force yourself to write something. Even if it sucks, write enough and something eventually will come to you. You can always go back and edit the hell out of it later.

aadams73
01-29-2010, 03:58 AM
Usually reading helps, but my drought extends to my lack of enthusiasm for reading.

How do you deal with the slumps? Or do you just wait them out?

Oh yeah, been there done that. I got over it by:

a) reading outside my usual genres
b) getting out and living

Pretty soon a story began poking me in the side, demanding to be told.

Good luck. :)

scarletpeaches
01-29-2010, 04:02 AM
Ride it out, mainly.

Write bits each day. Even 500 words. Just to keep myself heading in the right direction.

I know, I say frequently writer's block doesn't exist and I believe that, but sometimes if my head's in a bad place, or I have other shit to deal with, it's harder to get in flow. And on those days I try not to be too hard on myself.

Oh, and how about switching from the computer to writing longhand? With me, I don't even fill one page before I'm itching to get back to the keyboard.

CaroGirl
01-29-2010, 04:57 AM
I'm just coming out of one (or at least I hope I am). Can you find the reason for your drought? Are you super busy, stressed, daunted by required research (me!), or some other situation I can't think of? Maybe by determining the reason, you can help yourself get over it.

This too shall pass.

bsolah
01-29-2010, 04:58 AM
I can only think it has something to do with NaNoWriMo. I passed the 50,000 word mark and slowed down heaps after that.

scarletpeaches
01-29-2010, 05:04 AM
Oh, me too. Me too.

Burnout maybe. Running on empty and needing to recharge.

bsolah
01-29-2010, 05:06 AM
Yeah, think I need to recharge.

Just found out a radical folk singer from Glasgow I worked with when he toured Australia, had died. So this might derail writing a bit...

Matera the Mad
01-29-2010, 06:24 AM
I read. I do stuff.

maestrowork
01-29-2010, 08:26 AM
I tend to do something else -- write music, travel, etc. I still write (blogs, tweets, etc.) but not on the WIP. I also read to get me back in the mood... when I read something really good, it inspires me to write.

But, you should allow yourself to take a vacation away from your work once in a while. It's good for the soul.

icerose
01-29-2010, 08:39 AM
I only get to that point when I feel overwhelmed. It's best for me to take the time to unwind, take the pressure I've put on my shoulders concerning writing back off, re-evaluate goals (sometimes I make them too harsh) and then make new better ones. Reading a few books that really inspire me help fill the empty well back up and by then I'm rearing to go.

timewaster
01-29-2010, 12:51 PM
I don't write all the time and in fact haven't written anything sustained for almost a year.
if you have a contract to fulfil then obviously you have to find your way back - for me forbidding myself to write until a certain date can work. I have also found that writing 500 words of nothing particular and no more than 500 words can generate ideas and enthusiasm.
If you don't have to write though, I don't really see the problem - don't until you want to again however long that takes.

Jamesaritchie
01-29-2010, 05:20 PM
I write each and every day, same time, same place, no excuses. Do this long enough, and the habit gets so strong you can't kick it.

Alpha Echo
01-29-2010, 05:44 PM
Oh yeah, been there done that. I got over it by:

a) reading outside my usual genres
b) getting out and living

Pretty soon a story began poking me in the side, demanding to be told.

Good luck. :)

These things help me...other than these, I wait it out. I can't force myself to write. I guess that'll really suck when I make a 6-book deal with my future agent, won't it?

icerose
01-29-2010, 06:25 PM
I write each and every day, same time, same place, no excuses. Do this long enough, and the habit gets so strong you can't kick it.

Someday I'll be able to do that. But with a house full of little kids needing me along with a husband wanting attention, there is no set time I can write. I snatch it whenever I can.

My goal is that once my youngest is in school (a year and a half to go) I'll be able to set that up because it sure as heck would make it easier to get my writing done if I had a routine for it.

gilesth
01-29-2010, 06:38 PM
When I hit a slump, I try to find something that has to do with writing, but it may not actually be writing. Sometimes I blog, but right now I'm querying my novel. If you don't want to write, try looking over your manuscript, see if there's any editing that you can do. Maybe even use that activity to get your gray cells working on ways to improve the plot or create another plot altogether for another book.

It's a little different with me (at least from the impression I got) because I approach my writing as if it's already my job, even though I'm not getting paid and I have a full time day-job. I think it has something to do with how I was raised, and having my dad guilt me into getting back to work especially when I didn't feel like it. Anyway, even when I REALLY don't want to write, I'd rather do that than go to the day job. :)

To sum up...if you treat it like a job (and remember, find a job you really love and you'll never work a day in your life) maybe you can disconnect from the "I need inspiration" mindset just enough to get into the "I want to do this for the rest of my life, so I'm going to" mindset. I hope that helps :)

C.M.C.
01-29-2010, 07:25 PM
I like having droughts. I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much if I was all-consumed with writing day in and day out.

Jamesaritchie
01-30-2010, 12:06 AM
Someday I'll be able to do that. But with a house full of little kids needing me along with a husband wanting attention, there is no set time I can write. I snatch it whenever I can.

My goal is that once my youngest is in school (a year and a half to go) I'll be able to set that up because it sure as heck would make it easier to get my writing done if I had a routine for it.

Little kids make it tough, but if you're waiting for your husband to stop wanting attention, you'll never get anything done. Your spouse is the first person you have to train. . .and you have to make it look like your spouse trained you.

bsolah
02-02-2010, 01:53 AM
Thanks guys. Most of these suggestions are really great, and I got a few more by asking on Facebook and Twitter.

Some of them might appear in an upcoming blog post as I plan ways to get past the drought.